April 2012

Vice President Jejomar Binay expressed his concerns regarding the Charter Change, more known as Cha-Cha, in an interview during the Pabahay Caravan in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. He was quoted saying “While the assurance was made that the amendments will focus only on economic provisions, there is still the chance that it will go beyond it.” Clearly, the second leader of the republic does not believe that the initiative is simply to promote the country’s competitiveness when it comes to economy as House leaders insisted.


He also said that amending the Constitution is not the priority of the President, and “This is purely a congressional initiative,” he added.


Still, the House of Representatives’ committee on constitutional amendments scheduled an October 11 resolution seeking revision of the Constitution’s economic provisions. The Senate and the House of Representatives also agreed last week to deliberate and vote separately on Charter change.


Other proposed reforms are expanding foreign investor roles in the exploration, development and exploration, development and utilization of natural resources, allowing foreign ownership of industrial and commercial lands, liberalization of the practice of profession in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, allowing foreign investment in tertiary education and the extension of the 25 years plus 25 years land lease agreement.Image


In an interview with Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, who is also the chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, says that “The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) should conduct a thorough investigation on the “tragedy” at the Keppel Shipyard in Subic, Zambales where at least six workers were killed and many others were injured after a huge, tons-heavy steel platform in the area collapsed.”


“We must leave no stone unturned in examining all the circumstances behind this horrible incident as well as all the factors that might have contributed to it, and in ultimately determining if there was any lapse in the overall ensuring of safety measures in the said workplace,” the senator added.


“This, even though there are claims that Keppel has been given high marks in safety checks done by authorities especially the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and that the company is said to be taking full responsibility for the incident and is already investigating this through its safety department.”


“I am calling on DoLE to conduct its own, thorough investigation of this Keppel incident, come up with a detailed report of it at the soonest time possible and ensure that all the victims will be completely attended to,” as the senator expressed his sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who died in the tragic accident.



The Subic Shipyard is an elevated platform that bridged the workers to a 22,650-ton container ship they are repairing at the drydock of Subic Shipyard and Engineering Inc., which is an enterprise managed by Keppel Shipyard Limited in the special economic zone of Barangay Cawag.


Singapore-based Keppel is a legit ship repair and conversion, shipbuilding and offshore engineering firm.


It should be remembered that another Subic shipyard was into the same tragedy in 2009, the Korean Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC). In the inspection, a lot of lapses in and direct violations of safety measures were discovered.


Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services–water, gas, electricity or telephones–were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.

Families can – and do– cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Follow the steps listed below to create your family’s disaster plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

4 Steps to Safety

Find Out What Could Happen to You
• Contact your Barangay Office, Philippine Red Cross chapter or Lifeline’s hotline 16-911. Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen.
Request information on how to prepare for each.
• Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
• Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s
school and other places where your family spends time.

Create a Disaster Plan
• Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and earthquakes to children.
Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
• Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case. Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere – at work, at school, in the car. How will you find each
other? Will you know if your children are safe?
• Pick two places to meet:
1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number of the meeting place.
• Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact’s phone number.
• Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

Complete This Checklist

Conduct a home hazard hunt. Check for ordinary objects that can cause injury. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a potential home hazard and should be inspected regularly. Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit. Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
 Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room. Find the safe spots in your home for
each type of disaster. Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
Teach children how and when to call 16-911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
 Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
 Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
 Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
 Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near

Practice and Maintain Your Plan
• Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
Jan ___ Feb ___ Mar ___ Apr ___
May___ Jun ___ Jul ___ Aug ___
Sept ___ Oct ___ Nov ___ Dec ___
Change batteries in _________ each year.
• Quiz your kids and household help every six months so they remember what to do.
• Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
• Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
• Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Disaster Supplies Kit

Keep enough supplies in your home to last for at least three days. Assemble items you may need in an evacuation. Store supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags or plastic trash cans with lids. Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car.
Include in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could
work together after a disaster until help arrives. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a
home association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’
special skills (ie, medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as
disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.
 A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
 One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
 A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
 An extra set of car keys and a credit card or cash.
 Emergency tools including a battery powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
 Sanitation supplies.
 Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
 An extra pair of glasses.
Evacuate immediately if told to do so:
• Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
• Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
• Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
• Lock your home.
• Use travel routes specified by local authorities — don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
If you’re sure you have time:
• Shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so.
• Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
• Make arrangements for your pets.
If Disaster Strikes
Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action…
• Check for injuries. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
• Listen to your battery powered radio for news and instructions.
• Evacuate, if advised to do so. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
Check for damage in your home. . .
• Use flashlights — do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
• Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
• Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
• Shut off any other damaged utilities.
• Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable
liquids immediately.
Remember to. . .
• Confine or secure your pets.
• Call your family contact— do not use the telephone again unless it is a
life-threatening emergency.
• Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
• Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.
• Stay away from downed power lines.
For medical emergencies, dial
Lifeline Rescue’s 24-hour Hotline: 16-911

Two weeks ago was my 35th birthday. I sat down for breakfast with my family, knowing my wife would be pleasant and say “Happy Birthday!” and probably have a present for me.

As it turned out, she didn’t even say good morning, let alone happy birthday. I thought, well, that’s just great, maybe the children will remember.

The children came in to breakfast and didn’t say a word. So when I left for the office, I was feeling pretty low.

As I walked into my office, my secretary, Janet, said, “Good morning, boss, happy birthday!” And I felt a little better that someone had remembered. I worked until noon, then Janet knocked on my door and said, “You know, it’s such a beautiful day outside, and it’s your birthday, let’s go to lunch, just you and me.”

I said, “That’s the greatest thing I’ve heard all day . Let’s go!” We went to a private little place. We had two martinis and enjoyed lunch tremendously. On the way back to the office, she said, “You know, it’s such a beautiful day. We don’t need to go back to the office, do we?”

I said, “No, I guess not.”

She said, “Let’s go to my apartment”

After arriving at her apartment, she said, “Boss, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go into the bedroom and slip into something more comfortable.”

“Sure!” I excitedly replied.

She went into the bedroom and, in about five minutes, she came out carrying a huge birthday cake followed by my wife, my children and a dozen of our friends, all singing Happy Birthday.

And I just sat there.

On the couch.